Soror Marguerite Farmer
Marguerite Farmer was an artist of many disciplines and media. She achieved excellent levels of skill in sewing, knitting, crocheting, drawing, painting, photography and ceramics. She loved the Opera, symphony music, jazz, and spiritual music.
She loved to patiently teach children anything and all that she knew. She guided Cub Scouts, Brownie, Intermediate and Senior Girl Scout troops. She loved books and reading biographies of the lives of prominent and accomplished people.
Marguerite was born in 1922 in the Harlem area of New York City, New York. She was the only child of parents who had emigrated from Jamaica. She completed her education in the public schools of New York City. She then completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at Hunter College in New York City.
After marriage, raising four children, and divorce in Detroit, Michigan, Marguerite attended Wayne State University in Detroit where she completed her Master of Library Science degree and a teaching credential in 1972. She taught first in the library of the Whitney Young Elementary School where she also had a student knitting club at lunch time. After staff cutbacks there, she joined the staff of the Wayne County Community College where she set up the library at a new campus site. She encouraged and guided the students there until she retired in 1984 after being tempted to move to San Diego, California with her daughter.
In Detroit, Marguerite was a faithful member of Grace Episcopal Church from the late 1950’s and served on the Vestry several years. Marguerite joined the congregation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego in 1986. Among other activities, she found three ministries dear to her heart: the Stitchery (sewing) Group that made artistic processional banners and altar frontals; she established an honor-system lending library; and she started the Docents group.
In 1985, Marguerite pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Epsilon Xi Omega Chapter and enjoyed many active years of sisterhood and service.
Marguerite joined the San Diego Public library system in 1986. She soon became the librarian at the Valencia Park Branch. She reinvigorated the underutilized branch, greatly increased readership, encouraged community activity and awareness, started the Black History and Literature collections and the Spanish language collection. Her efforts resulted in greatly increased circulation and community use of the small branch before her retirement in 1992. The end result of Marguerite’s legacy to San Diego is the Valencia Park – Malcolm X Branch Library, opened in 1996. It exists today as one of the most active branches in the city library system.
Marguerite Farmer departed this life on August 9, 2018. She was predeceased by her son, Billy, and leaves behind three daughters Linda, Marguerite (Ben), and Annette, and two grandchildren, Antonia & Jonathan.